Former employees sue Ruby Ridge Dairy for lost wages - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former employees sue Ruby Ridge Dairy for lost wages

Posted: Updated:

PASCO, Wash. - Former employees of Ruby Ridge Dairy in Pasco are suing their employer for lost wages.

In recent months, 4 employees of Ruby Ridge Dairy in Pasco were fired and both sides tell different reasons for their termination.

The former employees, supported by the United Farm Workers of America, organized a protest Thursday in Pasco. Workers were asked to sign a document if they were for or against starting a union. 86% voted against starting a union at the dairy, but some feared they would lose their job if they didn't vote against it.

"The only reason he fired us is because we wanted to know our rights with the union," said Jose Miranda a former employee.

Dick Bengen who owns the dairy says he knows that's illegal and the workers were told it had no bearing on their job.

"Everybody was told that it has no bearing on your job. And there was absolutely no pressure on the people, I mean none, we made that very very clear," said Bengen.

In the lawsuit, workers are suing for damages for losing their job and want to be paid for all the hours worked.

"We work 9 to 10 hours a day without lunch, without breaks, no water," said Margarito Martinez a former employee at Ruby Ridge Dairy.

Bengen says he has documentation of poor performance by the workers including endangering other employees.